The First Documented Outdoor Public Fountains of Human History

ft-312__11684.jpg Towns and villages depended on practical water fountains to funnel water for preparing food, bathing, and cleaning up from local sources like ponds, streams, or springs. To generate water flow through a fountain until the late 1800’s, and create a jet of water, demanded gravity and a water source such as a creek or lake, positioned higher than the fountain. Frequently used as memorials and commemorative structures, water fountains have influenced people from all over the globe throughout the ages. Simple in design, the 1st water fountains did not look much like present fountains. Crafted for drinking water and ceremonial reasons, the initial fountains were simple carved stone basins. Natural stone basins are theorized to have been first used around 2000 BC. The very first civilizations that made use of fountains depended on gravity to drive water through spigots. Situated near aqueducts or springs, the functional public water fountains provided the local populace with fresh drinking water. The Romans began creating ornate fountains in 6 BC, most of which were bronze or stone masks of creatures and mythological heroes. The remarkable aqueducts of Rome supplied water to the spectacular public fountains, most of which you can go see today.

The Fascinating Origin of the Wall Fountain

During his reign (1397-1455) in the capital of Italy,the learned Pope Nicholas V (1397–1455) (directed|commissioned} scores of translations of early Greek classics into Latin. To further enhance his city's prestige, in the year 1453 he began to rebuild the Acqua Vergine, the ruined Roman aqueduct which previously delivered clean drinking water to the city from eight miles away. At the same time, he restarted the tradition of installing commemorative fountains, called "mostras", to mark the arrival point of an aqueduct. Pope Nicholas V ordered designer Leon Battista Alberti to build a simple wall fountain where the Trevi Fountain is now located. The mix of the Pope's desire to increase Rome's influence in the religious world, and provide fresh drinking water to the city's inhabitants, indirectly led to the creation of the first wall fountain.

Short History of Fountains

Water Fountains have long held a role in towns around the globe, serving as an essential source of drinking water and even making appearances in folktales. Well before we had sinks and faucets in our homes to provide us water, people relied on these fountains when they required water for drinking, cooking, or cleaning. The fountains also form a calming and engaging background to religious traditions and other ceremonies. Water fountains have other religious functions, like purifying worshipers during ceremonies, as well as militaristic functions, such as assisting the town to endure blockades. One of the more celebrated fountains is found at the Castalia temple in Delphi, which functions as a destination for residents to gather and socialize.

Bernini: The Master of Italy's Greatest Water Fountains

Bernini's earliest water fountain, named Barcaccia, is a masterful work of art found at the foot of the Trinita dei Monti in Piaza di Spagna. To this day, you will find Roman residents and vacation goers occupying this area to revel in chit chatter and being among other people. Bernini would without a doubt have been happy to know that people still flock to what has become one the city's most fashionable areas, that surrounding his amazing fountain. In about 1630, the great artist designed the very first water fountain of his career at the behest of Pope Ubano VIII. The fountain’s central theme is based on an an enormous ship slowly sinking into the Mediterranean Sea. The great flooding of the Tevere that covered the whole region with water in the 16th was memorialized by this momentous fountain as recorded by documents dating back to this period. In 1665 Bernini traveled to France, in what was to be his sole lengthy absence from Italy.

The Origins Of Wall Fountains

A fountain, an amazing piece of engineering, not only supplies drinking water as it pours into a basin, it can also propel water high into the air for an extraordinary effect.

Pure practicality was the original purpose of fountains. Water fountains were connected to a spring or aqueduct to provide potable water as well as bathing water for cities, townships and villages. Up to the late nineteenth century, water fountains had to be near an aqueduct or reservoir and more elevated than the fountain so that gravity could make the water move downwards or shoot high into the air. Designers thought of fountains as wonderful additions to a living space, however, the fountains also served to provide clean water and celebrate the designer responsible for creating it. The main materials used by the Romans to build their fountains were bronze or stone masks, mostly illustrating animals or heroes. During the Middle Ages, Muslim and Moorish garden designers included fountains in their designs to mimic the gardens of paradise. King Louis XIV of France wanted to demonstrate his superiority over nature by including fountains in the Gardens of Versailles. To mark the entrance of the restored Roman aqueducts, the Popes of the 17th and 18th centuries commissioned the construction of baroque style fountains in the spot where the aqueducts entered the city of Rome

Urban fountains made at the end of the 19th century functioned only as decorative and celebratory ornaments since indoor plumbing provided the necessary drinking water. The creation of special water effects and the recycling of water were 2 things made possible by replacing gravity with mechanical pumps.

Modern-day fountains serve mostly as decoration for public spaces, to honor individuals or events, and compliment entertainment and recreational gatherings.

The Advantages of a Wall Fountain in your Waiting Room

Having a water element on display in a waiting room can positively impact not only your surroundings but your emotional state as well. Maybe you have even thought about adding one in your own workplace. Perhaps your new or remodeled car dealership, medical practice, tax office, or day spa, among other types of businesses, could use one in the waiting room.

Clients often become more anxious the longer they have to wait for an appointment. They sit there checking the time on their phones and start thinking about all the work yet to be done. A wall water fountain in your waiting area, however, could distract the person just enough for them to overlook the amount of time they have been waiting. Your patients or clientele may feel less agitated and more serene surrounded by the sound and appearance of slowly moving water.

Either the air conditioning or the heat is turned on in waiting rooms when the weather changes. This makes the air dry out in these situations. Water from your wall fountain will slowly evaporate, releasing the right amount of moisture into the air but not enough to make the atmosphere uncomfortably humid. The conditions in your office will therefore be comfortable for all of you who work there all day long. The dry air contributes to making you susceptible to illnesses since it acts on the mucous membranes. This sort of atmosphere {contributes|leads to chapped lips, dry skin, itchy eyes, lifeless hair, and brittle nails. The natural moisture created by water fountains is great for your health.

In addition, wall water fountains generate sufficient sounds to squelch unwanted clamor making the environment more agreeable. Office chatter as well as the sound of humming medical equipment, ringing phones, or beeping faxes are muffled by more pleasant sounds these features produce. Even though your clientele or guests may hear some sound, it will not be as unpleasant.

Fountains also contribute to a healthier environment and make a good impression. Purchasing this kind of water fountain could give you the competitive advantage you need. In addition, your company name or your logo on a wall fountain can become a distinctive marketing tool.

Water Transport Strategies in Ancient Rome

Rome’s first elevated aqueduct, Aqua Anio Vetus, was built in 273 BC; before that, residents living at higher elevations had to rely on local streams for their water. When aqueducts or springs weren’t available, people dwelling at higher elevations turned to water drawn from underground or rainwater, which was made available by wells and cisterns. Beginning in the sixteenth century, a new approach was introduced, using Acqua Vergine’s subterranean portions to deliver water to Pincian Hill. Pozzi, or manholes, were made at regular stretches along the aqueduct’s channel. The manholes made it less demanding to clean the channel, but it was also possible to use buckets to pull water from the aqueduct, as we observed with Cardinal Marcello Crescenzi when he owned the property from 1543 to 1552, the year he passed away. Despite the fact that the cardinal also had a cistern to collect rainwater, it couldn't produce enough water. That is when he made the decision to create an access point to the aqueduct that ran underneath his residence.


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